Jordan Deakin

PhD Student in Psychology


Jordan is one of our former BEAR Champions. 

What is your Academic background and current research field?

I completed both my BSc in Psychology and MSc in Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics at the University. I am fascinated by research that combines both computer science and psychology and am now a PhD student in the Computational Psychology Lab. My current work aims at examining the mechanisms underlying visual selective attention. To achieve this, I run attentional tasks and fit computational models of attention to the data using Bayesian inference for parameter estimation.

Which BEAR Services have been most helpful to you in your research?

BlueBEAR has completely revolutionised the way I work and I don't know how I ever worked without it. To fit models, I use a Differential Evolution Markov Chain Monte Carlo (DE-MCMC) algorithm. MCMC methods in general are known for being computationally demanding and when a model must be fit to several conditions for 30+ participants, the wait time for results can very quickly add up (often days waiting for results for one participant!). BlueBEAR has allowed me to run these fits in parallel, meaning I can run fits overnight and wake up to a full, (very satisfying) set of results!

How widespread do you think BEAR Services are known in your School and how do you plan to spread the word?

Despite being in the School of Psychology for almost 6 years, with the exception of BEAR DataShare I heard very little about the brilliant services BEAR has to offer. I will spread the word by discussing BEAR in my research and at events both within and outside the school. 

Note from Editor: BEAR DataShare is now retired - see this KB article for alternative options.

What's an interesting fact about you?

Despite never being to a country that speaks it, I have been teaching myself German for the past three years and I spend a scary amount of money each month on toys for my dogs.